Photo: Android Market
One of our favourite things about Android phones is the ability to customise your phone with widgets.Instead of opening an app to get updates on your social networks, news, or weather, widgets will give you live updates from your home screen.
Others widgets are more interactive, letting you send send messages or tweets. You can also customise your widgets to make your home screen look the way you want. Developers make them in several sizes so your can arrange them alongside your favourite apps.
You can’t get that on iPhone without jailbreaking.
If you’re new to Android, widgets often come with apps you download from the market. To get them on your home screen, hold your finger down on a large space that isn’t occupied by any apps. You’ll see a menu pop up that gives you access to your current widgets.
Check out our list of our favourite and most useful widgets we use on our Android phone.
We love Twitter, but who has time to open the app and refresh their feed? With Twitter's official widget, you can view the latest tweets in real time from your home screen. The widget comes included when you download the Twitter app.
While Android comes with it's own weather widget, we prefer to use the Weather Channel instead. The widget comes with the Weather Channel's free app, and comes in several sizes to fit your screen the way you want. You'll get live updates on the temperature and conditions plus an extended forecast.
Yes, this one comes preloaded on your Android phone. And yes, it's not flashy or special. But we probably use the Google widget more than any other. From the simple taskbar you can search the web, your phone's contacts, or your apps. It also has Google's excellent voice recognition for search.
Most Android phones will have this on your home screen from day one.
Sportacular is one of our favourite sports apps for both Android and iPhone. But the Android phone one-ups the iPhone version with its amazing widget. You can set the widget to track scores for your favourite teams, and set it to notify you when they win. You can get it with the free Sportacular app.
This widget is built in to the Calendar app that comes with your phone. When you sync your phone to your Google account, the Calendar widget automatically populates with your events. It's an easy way to see what you have to do each day with a quick glance.
Android's native Music app includes a widget that will let you play, pause, and skip tracks in your playlist. It's simple, and won't take up much space on your screen.
If you've already adopted Amazon's Cloud Player, then make sure to take advantage of the widget that comes with its free app. It's a simple bar that lets you navigate the tunes streaming to your phone.
Evernote's widget is a small taskbar with three icons for taking text, photo, or audio notes and syncing them with your account. You can also search all your notes from the widget. Get it with the free Evernote app.
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